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Radicalism in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Writing

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Radicalism in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Writing
(Which author is more radical for her day?)
In the years of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s women’s rights were unheard of. Women didn’t get a higher education like the men did. They would mostly learn about etiquette and how to cook and clean. The father of the daughter would choose who she would marry, it would always be based on money, and family tithes. Women were treated as property and she was owned by her father and mother tells she was wedded, and then her husband would own her. But in theses years is when women started to more or less rebel and come out with new and radical ideas. In the article by Jone Lewis she states, “Mary Wollstonecraft has been called the "first feminist" or "mother of feminism." Two authors we looked at were Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft, the more radical of the authors was Wollstonecraft.

First of all, she wasn’t afraid of her idea and made sure that it wasn’t kept as a secret, she wanted her writing to be read all around the Europe. Coming out with these strange and new ideas was unheard of, but she did it in a very lady like and smart way. She states, “After considering the historic page and viewing the living world with anxious solicitude the most melancholy emotions of sorrowful indication have depressed my spirits.” She is first addressing that she is sad because the record of history has always put women as property. According to Smith in her essay, “Historic Brief,” she states, “Daily life for women in the early 1800s in Britain was that of many obligations and few choices. Some even compare the conditions of women in this time to a form of slavery.”

Secondly, another reason her writing was more radical is she bluntly states that thes...

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...t she wanted to see, she sees that these young wives are not yet fit to raise a family, and she isn’t afraid to see her idea fail. One of her famous quotes from “Brainy Quote” was, “Virtue can only flourish among equals.”

Works Cited

"Conlonial Times." AngelFire. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .
"Family Structure - US Colonial 1899." The Factbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .
"Mary Wollstonecraft Legacy." About.com. Jone Lewis, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. .
"Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes." Brainy Quote. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .
Smith, Kelley. "Historical Breif." Historical Breif. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
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